My boys and I left Wellington in July to start our 10 month sojourn in North Carolina while Daddy learns Hindi at FSI. Having lived in this little "pleasantville" for 9 months just before heading to FSI the first time, the kids loved it, made friends and wanted to return. Since we really didn't want our teenagers in DC schools we made NC our home. Plus, after the Christchurch earthquake, I got a touch of PTSD and bought a house off the Interweb that I had not even been inside. There was a lot of fixing up to do. I vowed to make the house livable while my husband was busting his hump at FSI.
I was able to sell my nursing cover business to a lady in New Zealand so this house is now my full time job. Thanks Claire, you basically paid to have my whole house decked out with new hard wood floors. Hope you like the business. Anyway, I've never worked so hard in my life. I'm no stranger to manual labor but my body protested most of the first and second week. I lost 5 lbs that first week too! My brother, my 15 year old son, Morgan, myself and 2 movers emptied the 26 ft moving van. It was a job I don't want to repeat any time soon. So now I don't look at it as work, it is my enforced exercise regime. My shoulders are becoming very defined from all of the painting and my legs are getting firm from running up and down the stairs a billion times a day. But, it is worth it.
I cannot take all the credit. My family helped. My amazing brother showed up even before the water or air conditioning was turned on to help make the house livable enough for me and the boys. He cleaned up and hauled away weeds & debris, built pathways and steps and painted a few of the worst rooms. He sanded all of the cabinetry so we could paint it too.
My Dad amazed me with his ability to fix ANYTHING!! He helped me disassemble all of the broken and nasty ceiling fans, cleaned them up, replaced a switch here, a motor & light there and voila...new, functional ceiling fans.
When the flooring guys cut the wrong sized hole for the air conditioning vents...no problem. Dad cut new ones and repositioned the sheet metal. But the big event was installing a new bathroom from scratch. We spent 7 hours at Lowe's the day before. Yes, that's not a typo-we were at Lowe's for 7 hours. The closest Lowe's is 30 miles away so we wanted to get everything we would need to work on the house for an entire week.
This is what we did in 3 days...amazing!
We didn't have time to get to Adrian's study. My Dad had to get back to Florida and my brother left with him to attend to his own affairs. That left me and the boys. Yikes. I didn't want my husband to have a heart attack when he finally saw the house for the first time. The moldings all had to be painted, the doors needed scraping and painting....we worked furiously.
He loved it. After a day or two of jet lag recovery, Adrian jumped right in and we set to work on his study. Now he knows how hard we've all been working.
Everyone pitched in. I even had surprise help from one of Adrian's college buddies and his girlfriend who stopped by to help install trim. I never want to do that again by the way.
Ewan Painting a new doorway to the balcony.
Adrian on his second day home, painting his study
Morgan getting all the high spots.
Me and Thom putting in the trim
Jenna cutting the trim-she loved it.
We will NEVER be finished fixing up this house but it is in good shape and we love it. The new appliances, bathrooms and paint really make a difference.
The best part is that it is within walking distance to grandma and grandpa and Ewan's buddy lives across the street. There is a bed and breakfast within walking distance and it's just a short stroll to downtown. So, when your car unexpectedly breaks down like it did this weekend, you can still walk your kid to soccer practice.
We are Home (for 10 months)